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  • Writer's pictureMarion Pidgeon

Embedding Skills through Action Learning

How do you effectively translate formal leadership or behavioural learning into workplace practice? It’s never as simple as applying technical skills because leadership and behavioural skills involve multiple and diverse other people and their varied responses.

Morgan’s 70/20/10 ratio for effective learning seems to be flavour-of-the-month at the moment as guidance for an effective ratio for learning through work assignments / coaching & mentoring / formal learning. But how do you link these 3 components of learning together to accelerate development?

We’ve found that various approaches to Action Learning can be extremely effective in helping to embed skills learned through formal learning into on-going work assignments, supported and reinforced by coaching support.

Action Learning was originally developed by Reg Revans working at the University of Cambridge, and developed in his work in the coal mining industry.

In essence, Action Learning involves diverse groups of colleagues participating in formal learning, individually applying that learning to their real work challenges and meeting periodically as a facilitated group (or Action Learning set) to mutually support each other through curiosity, open questioning and reflection. Through cycles of Action Learning new skills are applied, results observed, questions asked to create new insights, skills refined and business results observed through the application of new skills.

The beauty of Action Learning is that we can adapt the principles and apply them to a wide range of learning activities. While traditionally facilitated through face-to-face meetings, Action Learning sets can meet, and be facilitated, virtually.

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